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ACLU requests body camera footage of police interacting with Harlem Park residents

Posted at 1:51 PM, Dec 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-15 07:54:04-05

The ACLU of Maryland has asked Baltimore Police to release the body camera footage of officers talking with Harlem Park residents in the days following Detective Suiter's death. 

The organization says there have been many questions surrounding police's decision to block off multiple streets in Harlem Park. In response, they are asking police to release the footage from officers who were working the perimeter and searching houses.  

"The public has a right to see body camera footage of police interacting with civilians during the unprecedented cordon in Harlem Park," said David Rocah, Senior Staff Attorney with the ACLU.  "The publicly stated rationale for the cordon, the need to preserve a crime scene, seems inconsistent with both the scope and duration of the cordon, and with the other police actions that were taken, such as searches, demanding identification, and barring non-residents.  In those circumstances, there is a need for greater transparency, which is precisely why we have body cameras in the first place."

RELATED: Police continue to search for gunman after Baltimore detective shot

The ACLU is asking for the following records:

  • All body worn camera footage recorded by officers working the perimeter of the cordon involving an interaction with a civilian.
  • All BWC footage involving police escorting civilians to or from the police cordon
  • All BWC footage involving the first ten minutes of searches of occupied dwellings within the police cordon (not footage of searches of abandoned or vacant buildings)
  • Any logs of BWC footage recorded by officers working the perimeter of the cordon showing the number of times the BWC was activated, and the duration of the recording.

The ACLU expects the faces of people whose interactions with police will be redacted before the video is released, to hide their identity and preserve their privacy.